Meet the team

David Hunt

"My team is dedicated to identifying new therapies for brain disease. We focus on brain inflammation, which is an increasingly important target to stop brain degeneration. It is a hugely exciting time to work in this field and we are optimistic that we can help convert scientific progress into better treatments." David Hunt
UK DRI Group Leader

Dr David Hunt is a Wellcome Trust Senior Clinical Fellow and Consultant Neurologist based in Edinburgh University who leads clinics and research in the field of brain inflammation. He trained in medicine at Cambridge, London and Basel. His PhD research at Cambridge University was in the field of developmental neuroscience and neuroinflammation. In 2009 he moved to Edinburgh where he completed his neurological training and established a Wellcome Trust-funded laboratory to study the molecular basis of neuroinflammatory diseases. David’s research programme at the UK DRI aim to find ways to target inflammation to stop neurodegeneration, with particular focus on the interplay between interferon, nucleases and microvascular brain disease. This research programme links up clinics, discovery science and clinical trials.

1. Team members

Dr Sarah McGlasson (Postdoctoral Researcher)
Dr Katy Reid (Postdoctoral Researcher)
Dr Anna Klingseisen (Postdoctoral Researcher)
Deborah Forbes (PhD Student)
Bastien Rioux (PhD Student - Clinical)

2. Collaborations

Within UK DRI:

  • Prof Joanna Wardlaw (UK DRI at Edinburgh)
  • Prof Joseph Priller (UK DRI at Edinburgh)
  • Prof Siddharthan Chandran (UK DRI at Edinburgh)

Beyond UK DRI:

  • Prof John Atkinson (Washington University School of Medicine in St.Louis)
  • Prof Yanick Crow (MRC Human Genetics Unit, University of Edinburgh)
  • Prof Andrew Jackson (MRC Human Genetics Unit, University of Edinburgh)
  • Dr Darragh Duffy (Institut Pasteur, Paris)
  • Dr Markus Hofer and Prof Iain Campbell (University of Sydney)

3. Topics

Neuroinflammation, interferon, nucleases, microvascular disease, vascular dementia

4. Techniques

Cell biology, transcriptomics, disease models, human neuroimaging, enzymology, microfluidics, clinical trials

5. Key publications

Williams J, McGlasson S, Irani S, Duffy D, Crow Y and Hunt DPJ (2020) Neuromyelitis optica in patients with elevated interferon-alpha concentrations Lancet Neurol. Jan;19(1):31-33

Rodero, M.P., Decalf, J., Bondet, V., Hunt, DPJ (Joint first author)., Rice, G.I., Werneke, S., McGlasson, S.L., Alyanakian, M.A., Bader-Meunier, B., Barnerias, C., et al. (2017). Detection of interferon alpha protein reveals differential levels and cellular sources in disease. J Exp Med 214, 1547-1555.

McGlasson S, Rannikmae K, Jackson AP, Markus H, Sudlow C and Hunt DPJ (senior corresponding) (2017): Rare variants of the 3’-5’ DNA exonuclease TREX1 in early onset small vessel stroke Wellcome Open Research DOI: 10.12688/wellcomeopenres.12631.1

Kavanagh, D., McGlasson, S., Jury, A., Williams, J., Scolding, N., Bellamy, C., Gunther, C., Ritchie, D., Gale, D.P., Kanwar, Y.S. Jackson A., Chandran, S. and Hunt, DPJ. (2016). Type I interferon causes thrombotic microangiopathy by a dose-dependent toxic effect on the microvasculature. Blood 128, 2824-2833.

Hunt, DPJ., Kavanagh, D., Drummond, I., Weller, B., Bellamy, C., Overell, J., Evans, S., Jackson, A., and Chandran, S. (2014). Thrombotic microangiopathy associated with interferon beta. N Engl J Med 370, 1270-1271.

6. Lab website

Edinburgh Profile
Anne Rowling Clinic Profile